Washington, D.C. — One of the greatest byproducts of my Letter a Day project was the many friendships that resulted from writing letters with other calligraphers. In the beginning, the letters started out with "shop talk"—sharing best practices and talking about favorite inks and nibs. Eventually, some letters would transcend those initial patterns of getting to know one another and deepen into sincere conversations about life. There was something comforting about being able to share intimate thoughts with someone far away without feeling judged.
I'm not one to attend many calligraphy conferences, so my chance to meet pen friends in real life is rare. Every once in a while, though, a good opportunity arises. I've been corresponding with Keysa Yanéz since we exchanged letters in the Flourish Forum Valentine exchange in February 2015. Since then, Keysa has proven to be one of my most loyal correspondents. And she's so thoughtful to include a little something from wherever she is—little river flowers from a kayaking trip or a postcard from her travels. I had a chance to meet Keysa a few weeks ago during her visit to the U.S. from Barcelona. It was so exciting to meet her. Indeed, it felt like meeting an old friend, the kind where distance and time bear no effect on a friendship. Again, her thoughtfulness and sincerity, as demonstrated in her gift to me above, really knows no bounds. I hope to return the favor someday and visit her on her own turf.